Top leadership lessons from the 7th-century

It is tempting to think that leadership today is uniquely bad, but when you study history you find that nothing is unique, especially when it comes to human nature. Therefore, I love reading ancient accounts of good leadership, such as by Confucius or Cicero. They can provide us insights into how to be better leaders today. And I recently came across a 7th-century letter written by the head of an empire to his new governor of Egypt on how to lead. It was excellent.

Continue reading “Top leadership lessons from the 7th-century”

Films that were really about the pets!

I love my pets. I have one dog, Bamboo (a Cavachon), seven cats (from Norwegian Forests to moggies), and five chickens! I also love my films, so I always notice the pets. There are many films that have named pets, and in a surprising number, they play pivotal if not central roles. Don’t believe me? Here’s a selection of them:

Continue reading “Films that were really about the pets!”

How To Conduct Podcast Interviews

I’ve now done over 25 podcast interviews since launching my Macro Hive Conversations podcast show in March. I’ve interviewed high-profile policymakers like former Bank of England governor, Lord Mervyn King, top investors like Jim Leitner and leading academics like Professor Laura Veldkamp (she recently presented at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole gathering). I’ve learned a few things along the way, and a few people have asked me for tips, so here they are:

Continue reading “How To Conduct Podcast Interviews”

When the servants, commoners and plebs take over…

plebs, noun (used with a plural verb) 
1.  (in ancient Rome) the common people, as contrasted with the patricians and later with the senatorial nobility or the equestrian order. 
2. The common people; the populace.

I recently re-watched Knives Out. It’s a fantastic film starring James Bond/ Daniel Craig as the shrewd detective, Benoit Blanc, investigating the death of the head of a rich family. The driving force of this dark comedy is that in the will all the money is left to the servant, Marta (played by Ana de Armas). Naturally, the family is unhappy and do everything possible to get the money. I won’t reveal more, needless to say, there are lots of twists and turns and the right person wins out. Continue reading “When the servants, commoners and plebs take over…”

What’s your language of love?

Half the challenge of relationships, whether with romantic partners, family or friends, is knowing how you like to receive love. For some, it could be holding hands and hugs, for others it could be words of affirmation or it could be having quality time with someone. Once you understand that people like to receive love in different ways, it can be revelatory. You no longer need to feel guilty about not conforming to some stereotype and you can start to understand others better.

Continue reading “What’s your language of love?”

The Importance Of Touch

I recently thought about why I enjoy watching TV with my son. It’s not really about what we are watching (currently re-runs of Modern Family, which followed bingeing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, Friends, Scrubs). But it is rather the physicality of watching TV with him. See, he pretty much sits on top of me, and is prone to bursts of activity like elbowing me, holding my hand, or slapping me (gently!). It’s this constant forms of touch that are heart-warming.

Continue reading “The Importance Of Touch”

Don’t Doubt, Try the Difference

I was reminded how wise Derek Sivers is when I listened to a recent podcast interview of him where he talked on innovation vs imitation. I’ve featured his insights once before, but in case you don’t remember him, he’s a music entrepreneur turned wise owl. To give you a taste of his thoughts, here’s something he wrote on overcoming doubt by trying the difference:

Continue reading “Don’t Doubt, Try the Difference”

Can you answer these questions on the state of the world?

The late Hans Rosling found fame through his TED talks on visualising facts about the world. His last book,“Factfulness”, was published a few years ago, and is a great read.

The thrust of the book is that we lazily make assumptions about the world, which are not based on facts. We then formulate big world views based on false assumptions. To make his point, he starts his book with 13 questions on the state of the world. I was surprised by many of the answers. Here are the questions (and the answers). See if you get them right!

13 Questions About the World

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Continue reading “Can you answer these questions on the state of the world?”

Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”